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Travel Outside the U.S.: At Your Destination

How To Avoid Insect Bites

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Insect bites can spread diseases such as malaria. by using repellents and wearing long sleeves. The following time tested tips can help minimize insect bites:

  • Use an insect repellent with a high level of "DEET".  Some natural products may also provide good protection. The higher concentrations of active “repellent” will provide longer duration of protection. Apply and reapply repellant according to label instructions. 
  • Avoid applying repellents to areas near the mouth and eyes.
  • Avoid bright colors. They are attractive to insects.
  • Wear long sleeves and pants, especially when hiking.
  • Add Pyrethrum to your clothing, outerwear and shoes.
  • Avoid being outdoors during dusk and dawn, and during the evening after dark. This may reduce the day’s “prime biting” time periods.
  • After returning indoors:
    • Check for ticks when you return indoors.
    • Wash treated skin with soap and water or bathe, similarly wash “treated clothing” before wearing again. 


  • Consider taking a product with you that reduces the effect of bites. For example, offsite link
  • When considering travel in a known malaria risk area, consult your doctor about a preventive anti-malarial regimen. Ask your doctor for a description of the symptoms of malaria and the incubation time "just in case."

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